Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Dollar at fresh 14-year highs vs. rivals after mixed U.S. data

The dollar was hovering at a fresh 14-year peak against the other majors currencies on Wednesday, after the release of mixed U.S. data failed to dampen optimism over the strength of the economy.
The Universtity of Michigan said its consumer sentiment index rose to 93.8 in November from 91.6 the previous month, beating expectations for an unchanged reading.

In addition, the U.S. Commerce Department said durable goods orders climbed 4.8% last month, compared to expectations for a gain of 1.5%.
Core durable goods orders, which exclude volatile transportation items, rose 1% last month, compared to a forecast increase of 0.2%.

On a less positive note, the U.S. Department of Labor said initial jobless claims in the week ending November 19 increased by 18,000 to251,000 from the previous week’s total of 233,000 (initially 235,000). Analysts had expected jobless claims to rise by 15,000 to 250,000 last week.
Another report showed that U.S. new home sales fell by 1.9% to 563,000 units last month, disappointing expectations for a 0.3% increase.

The greenback has remained supported amid expectations that President-elect Donald Trump’s plans to ramp up fiscal spending and cut taxes will spur economic growth and inflation.
Faster growth would spark inflation, which in turn would prompt the Fed to tighten monetary policy a faster rate than had previously been expected.

The U.S. dollar has also been boosted by bets that the U.S. central bank will almost certainly raise interest rates next month.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen on Thursday reiterated that a rate hike “could well become appropriate relatively soon.”

EUR/USD dropped 0.81% to a fresh 11-month low of 1.0537.

Research group Markit earlier reported that its euro zone composite purchasing managers’ index, which measures the combined output of both the manufacturing and service sectors, increased to 54.1 November from the prior month’s reading of 53.3 and above forecasts for no change.
The German manufacturing PMI slipped to 54.9 this month from 55.0, while the services PMI climbed to a six-month high of 55.0 from 54.2.

Markit also said its French manufacturing PMI declined to a two-month low of 51.5 in November from 51.8 the previous month, while the services PMI rose to a two-month high of 52.6 from 51.4.
Elsewhere, GBP/USD slid 0.27% to 1.2390.

USD/JPY rallied 1.43% to an eight-month high of 112.78, while USD/CHF climbed 0.56% to 1.0171.
The Australian and New Zealand dollars were weaker, with AUD/USD down 0.08% at 0.7396 and with NZD/USD dropping 0.79% to 0.7006.

Meanwhile, USD/CAD gained 0.28% to trade at 1.3478.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.81% at a fresh 14-year high of 101.91.


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